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Latest newsletter: Abalone

July 12, 2017

"There is cloth blind hung down in the bed room in my house.
Prince, please be our daughter's groom. What should we serve
at the wedding party? Abalone or horned turban? Perhaps we shall
go for sea urchin?"

Here is a lyric from "Waie (My House)" which was written by the
parents to welcome the man who proposed to their daughter.
This song is one of the "Saibara" music songs, in which music was
originally enjoyed by ordinary people but was gradually adopted by
nobles who played with instruments.

Abalone is a superior food not only in the taste but also in
its nutritional value. It has been highly prized in ceremonies and
banquets to treat important guests since ancient times. There is a
legend in China that the founder of the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang,
sent a man called Xu Fu to Japan to look for abalone, which was
believed to be an elixir of life at that time. There is apparently a
family name, "BAO", written as 鮑 (abalone) in China as well,
to wish for longevity.

Read the full article:
Hidden in the Noshi wrapping paper: Abalone

Translation by: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Chan Yee Ting

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